How to add text to a video?

I would like to know how to add text to a video. If I was to do bloopers in my video I would want to add text letting people know it was bloopers and not my actual video.

Hi Kenneth, to help me give a better answer, are you using the Timeline in Shotcut yet?

I am just starting using the timeline yes.

I nominate this question/topic for the first video tutorial in the forum: how to apply a filter to a part of a video clip. I will make a video for this within a couple of days. Meanwhile, the short answer is: apply the Text video filter. The first mini-video-tutorial shows how to add a filter to a clip on the timeline:
The challenge, however, is how do you limit the filter to just a portion of the clip? The short answer is to Split the clip so that you can select just the slice you want when applying the filter. There is a Timeline toolbar button to split a clip or use the ‘S’ keyboard shortcut.

I hope I’m not hijacking this thread, but while we’re on the subject of the Text video filter, I would like to mention something that confused me at first. I like to use the Text filter on a black background PNG clip to introduce a following video clip (and I’m using the Timeline). If I both select the PNG clip and put the playhead on that clip, I can work on the Text filter and see the results in the Project window. But if I then start to play the project, once the playhead moves off of the PNG clip onto the next video clip, the text disappears, as it should, but the text sizing box with the handles is still superimposed on the video in the Project window.
It seems odd to me that an artifact of a video filter would stay on the screen once the playhead moves off of the clip it’s attached to. I think that behavior might be unique to the Text filter, but I admit I haven’t experimented with the others.

I’m using Shotcut 16.03.01 on Xubuntu 16.04.

That behavior is not unique to the text filter. The reason that the sizing box persists on the video is because the clip with the text filter is still selected (even though the playhead has moved pass it). To make the sizing box disappear, you need to make the clip un-selected. You could do that by clicking on a different clip, or by clicking on the track.

We could change the behavior so that the clip is automatically un-selected when the playhead moves off of it. But that might be inconvenient in other situations.

Thanks for the explanation, Brian. I compared this behavior to the other editor I’m familiar with, Kdenlive, and, I could see things were similar there; i.e., the properties of the effect stayed visible in the Effects window as long as the clip was still selected, regardless of the position of the playhead. However, I had yet to encounter an effect that had something visible that stayed on the project monitor when the playhead moved on. There may indeed be others, I just haven’t had a reason to use them yet.
Regardless, now that I understand it, it’s not a big deal, it just threw me the first time I saw it.

This is similar to something I am planning to do soon for a project. I also want to use text “panels” as transitions between clips on the timeline.

I’ve been making up individual png files with the text in the graphic. Tedious but it works, sort of – the text looks kind of lousy when it plays. I imagine there’s something within my graphics program I need to adjust, convert text to graphic or something.

But what I may do instead, as the OP mentions here, is just create a “template” png file, then modify text using the text filter as needed for however many panels I need. I will be sure to deselect the clip which hopefully will keep the artifact problem mentioned here from cropping up.

Is this a good way to do this? I assume I can load the “template” png file into the playlist, then pull it into the track however many times I need with different text filters each time. This results in the filter being applied several times but only one initial graphics file.

I like to fade the text into the next clip so that’s another filter but I need that one either way.

If there is a big advantage to one approach vs. the other here I’d appreciate hearing about it. I have more flexibility if I create a graphic file for each transition but if all I need is a text change it seems the filter would be simpler.

Marc, it is a very good idea to use a graphic as a background for the text filter. It is less effort than making and managing multiple images - especially since you “like to fade the text into the next clip.”

To get better fidelity using the image with burned-in text, you need to make sure the image is the same size as the project. If you are using Settings > Video Mode > Automatic, then the project resolution, aspect ratio, and frame rate are based on the first thing you add to the playlist or timeline - whichever comes first - and not the first clip in the project. In case that first thing is an image or audio file, it uses 1080p25.

Thanks! This will make it easier than creating a new graphic each time. But now I’ve run into something else, can’t seem to get the font size adjusted within the text filter. I saw an old post about an issue in an earlier version that said there had been a bug in the filter but it was fixed in the next upgrade (in the 15xx version I believe).

Is there a workaround, or maybe I’m doing something wrong. I’ve got a transparent png, alpha channel, composite on on the track, all else seems fine. Windows 7 64 bit, latest Shotcut (16.03).

It won’t kill me to just create separate graphics but the text filter seems like a neat way to go. I like Shotcut better and better the more I use it.

How are you trying to adjust the text size? Are you dragging the corners of the rectangle control? Are you previewing the clip to which the filter is applied?

I’m using the font dialog box that opens when you click the font name (default Verdana) in the text filter config area. Tried selecting the text first, can change font style and weight but size doesn’t have any effect here.

I can resize the text box itself which has the effect of changing the text size but it affects all text in the box. Sizing text via the dialog would allow different text sizes within the box.

I am previewing the clip and don’t see any effect from using the text dialog.

That is not supported because it conflicts with the sizing rectangle, which is more interactive and friendly. The text filter is simple and does not support multiple sizes. If you need different sizes and other fancy stuff, use the Overlay HTML filter. You can add the Size and Position filter after the HTML filter to more easily control positioning, but try to avoid using that for sizing for the obvious reason that you would be scaling after rendering the text.

P.S. The reason that size appears in the font dialog is because that dialog is the system font dialog, not our own.

OK, that makes sense. Will check out the HTML filter. Thanks again!